Friday, February 22, 2008


Disappointed Pandikar feels sorry for UMNO


Tempasuk incumbent Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Hj Mulia yesterday said he accepted his exclusion from the list of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the coming elections, albeit with some reservations. The news, which followed the announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at his official residence in Sri Gaya here yesterday, sparked an uproar among Pandikar’s supporters who thronged his house at Jalan Istana to show their support. Pandikar, who calmly entertained his supporters and incessant number of phone calls, said he accepted the decision by the party leadership although he hinted of dissatisfaction in the manner it was done. “I did not expect that I would be dropped because I have sacrificed for the interests of the party (Umno), including disbanding Akar for the sake of Umno and the BN,” he said when met at his house yesterday. “I am also confident of bringing victory to BN in Tempasuk, so I do not really understand what criteria were used to select the candidate. “If the decision was made in the interest of cronies and solely for personal interest without taking into account what will happen at the grassroots, then we feel sorry for Umno. “However, as a party member, I abide by the decision of the party leadership,” he said. also United Sabah Bajau Organisation (USBO) secretary- general, said he was also unsure of the rationale behind the exclusion of Kota Belud parliamentary incumbent and USBO president Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Tun Said and Banggi State incumbent cum USBO treasurer Datuk Amir Kahar Tun Mustapha from the list. “I don’t know. This is the decision made by the party leadership and I don’t know if this is an intentional move to push aside leaders from USBO. “As a person who has had experience leading a small party, I have never thought of stabbing anyone in the back. “If I fight, I fight from the front but it (fighting) has never crossed my mind or that of my colleagues,” he said. Pandikar nevertheless stressed that it is important for the candidates selected to replace him, and other leaders like Salleh, to fulfill “several criteria”. “Firstly, the candidates must be capable of giving a win to the BN. Secondly, the persons replacing the incumbents must be better in all aspects, in terms of quality of leadership, experience, education and support among other things. “This is what I understand in Umno, which is the candidate must be the best among the best,” he said.